What is Trip Interruption Insurance? - 2021 Review
Trip Interruption Insurance is included in all Travel Cancellation Insurance plans.
Trip Interruption coverage allows the traveler to return home early or “interrupt” a portion of the trip for specific covered reasons.
No one wants to cut their trip short, but sometimes life has other plans.
Trip Interruption insurance functions very similarly to Trip Cancellation benefits, but occur after you’ve started your trip. They both provide financial protection.
Some Trip Interruption insurance will reimburse up to 100% of your unused prepaid, non-refundable trip costs. Other Travel Interruption insurance reimburses up to 150% of trip costs. Why so much?
Trip Interruption Insurance Policy Language
According to the policy language in a certificate of coverage:
Benefits will be paid, up to the lesser of
- the Maximum Benefit Amount shown in Schedule of Benefits or
- one hundred-fifty
percent (150%) of the total amount of coverage You purchased, to reimburse You
for the Prepaid Payments or Deposits for unused non-refundable land or water
Travel Arrangements plus the Additional Transportation Cost paid:
- to join Your Trip if You must depart after Your Scheduled Departure Date or travel via alternate travel arrangements by the most direct route possible to reach Your Trip destination; or
- to rejoin Your Trip or transport You to Your originally scheduled return destination, if You must interrupt Your Trip after departure, each by the most direct route possible.
There are many reasons why we might have to interrupt our travel plans. Among the top reasons are if:
- Your or a Family Member’s or a Traveling Companion’s or a Business Partner’s or a Child Caregiver’s death, which occurs while You are on Your Trip;
- Your or a Family Member’s or a Traveling Companion’s or a Business Partner’s or a Child Caregiver’s covered Sickness or Injury which:
- occurs while You are on Your Trip,
- requires Medical Treatment at the time of interruption resulting in medically imposed restrictions, as certified by a Legally Qualified Physician, and c) prevents Your continued participation on Your Trip
In general, Traveling Companion means a person or persons whose names appear with yours on the same travel arrangements and who, during your trip, will accompany you.
A group or tour organizer, sponsor or leader is not a Traveling Companion as defined, unless sharing accommodations in the same room, cabin, condominium unit, apartment unit or other lodging with you.
Family Member means any of the following who resides in the United States, Canada, or Mexico: your or your traveling companion’s legal spouse (or common-law spouse where legal), legal guardian or ward, son or daughter (adopted, foster, step or in-law), brother or sister (includes step or in-law), parent (includes step or in-law), grandparent (includes in-law), grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, domestic partner, caregiver, or child caregiver.
Note that in most instances, Family Members must live in the US, Canada, or Mexico.
In other words, if your sister residing in Portugal becomes seriously ill or dies, the policy does not provide a travel interruption benefit.
If you are concerned about a particular family member, carefully review the plan document. Alternatively, you can contact us at AardvarkCompare, and we’ll be happy to help you with research.
Travel Interruption Insurance – Medical Emergency
Medical Emergencies can happen to you, your traveling companion or a family member back home. Consider some of the reasons you may have to interrupt your trip:
- An accidental injury or unforeseen illness of you or a traveling companion that occurs during your vacation that causes you to miss part of your trip or is serious enough to end your trip
- Death of a traveling companion, or you
- An illness of a senior parent that causes you to become their immediate caretaker
In most of the examples above, you would have to return home.
With Trip Interruption coverage, you can receive reimbursement of the unused prepaid, and non-refundable travel arrangements of your trip.
Trip Interruption coverage also allows for reimbursement of additional transportation costs to return home. Going home could be as simple as paying a change fee to the airline, or it could be the cost of the entire trip if you were on a cruise.
Return transportation is the reason Trip Interruption Insurance benefits are typically between 100% and 150% of the trip costs.
Similarly, if you or a traveling companion became ill or injured while on your trip but only infirm for a day or two, Trip Interruption coverage would reimburse you for the additional transportation costs to return to the trip.
For example, you are on a River Cruise in Europe, and you contract a stomach bug while in Germany. You head to the local clinic where the physician recommends fluids. Unfortunately, your stay in the clinic causes you to miss your cruise departure. Trip Interruption can help get you caught up to the next port so that you can enjoy the rest of the trip.
Travel Interruption Insurance – Family Emergency
Family emergencies can happen at any time:
- The death or serious illness of a family member, child, parents, or any immediate family member
- Your primary residence is made uninhabitable by a natural disaster (tornado, earthquake, flood or fire)
- The death or serious illness of your child’s caregiver
In all of these examples, you’ll want to return home immediately. When you have a good travel insurance plan, you enjoy the peace of mind that you can be there when the family needs you most.
Travel Interruption Insurance – Work Emergency
Suppose you planned your vacation, and your boss approved the time off. You’re looking forward to forgetting about work for the entire trip. However, work can still get in the way. What if:
- A severe illness or death happens to your or your traveling companion’s business partner, or
- Your place of employment is rendered unsuitable for business due to fire, flood or burglary, or some other natural disaster that causes you or your traveling companion to work, or
- You or your traveling companion have been involuntarily terminated or laid off. (Most policies require you that worked there for at least 12 consecutive months, but some specify 3-5 years.)
In these cases, Trip Interruption coverage protects you from losing non-refundable payments toward hotels, flights, tours, cruises, and excursions that you miss because you must return home.
Regardless of which Travel Insurance policy you have, keep all receipts and documentation of loss in case you need to file a claim.
All travel insurance plans have Exclusions that limit the reasons to interrupt your trip.
Some common exclusions are:
- Pre-existing Medical Conditions
- Injury caused by an excluded activity such as bungee jumping, skydiving, hang gliding or hot air ballooning
- Normal childbirth
- Mental or nervous conditions
This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to check the details in your plan.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions
All Trip Interruption plans exclude Pre-existing Medical Conditions as a reason to interrupt your travel.
Most policies define Pre-existing Medical Conditions as:
An illness, disease, or other condition during the sixty (60) day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective for which You or Your Traveling Companion, Business Partner or Family Member scheduled or booked to travel with You:
- received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or Medical Treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or
- took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine.
Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the sixty (60) day period before coverage is effective under this policy.
Essentially, a Pre-existing Medical Condition is any condition for which you were examined, treated, had medical testing, or had a recommendation by a physician to have an exam, treatment, or testing.
Most plans only care about conditions that occurred in the 60 days before purchasing the trip insurance policy. If your condition is older than 60 days, then it will be covered. Worth noting, some policies will look back as far as 180 days.
On many plans, you can buy a Waiver that allows coverage for Pre-existing Conditions. However, it’s only available if you buy the policy shortly after your initial trip payment or deposit.
In most cases, the Time Sensitive period is within 2-3 weeks of the initial deposit. Also, you must insure all of your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs to activate the Medical Waiver.
We all want to have a great time on vacation, but some fun things cannot be covered. If you are injured doing an excluded activity and have to interrupt your trip, the policy pays no Trip Interruption or Medical Insurance coverage.
These are some examples of hazardous activities:
- Sky diving
- Bungee jumping
- Spelunking or caving
- Hot air ballooning
- Backcountry skiing/boarding
- Scuba diving beyond 100-feet or without a divemaster
Naturally, every policy has different exclusions, so be sure to check the certificate to find out what’s not covered.
Travel insurance excludes coverage for normal childbirth.
Often, policies can cover complications of pregnancy, but they have very specific language about which conditions can and cannot be covered.
Let’s say you are traveling abroad, and your daughter is pregnant with her first child. You made plans to be there in 3 weeks when the baby is due. However, you get the call and need to get home immediately because she has gone into early labor.
You might think this is a complication, but it is not. Early labor is still a normal childbirth if no complicating circumstances caused early labor. But, the policy covers if your daughter had early labor because the baby’s blood pressure increased and his life is in danger.
Complications of pregnancy include acute nephritis, nephrosis, cardiac decompensation, missed abortion, and similar medical and surgical conditions of comparable severity. Complications of Pregnancy also include non-elective cesarean section, ectopic pregnancy which is terminated and spontaneous termination of pregnancy, which occurs during a period of gestation in which a viable birth is not possible.
Complications of Pregnancy does not include false labor, occasional spotting, Physician-prescribed rest during the period of pregnancy, morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, preeclampsia and similar conditions associated with the management of a difficult pregnancy not constituting a nosologically distinct complication of pregnancy.
Mental or Nervous Conditions
Typically, travel insurance policies exclude mental or nervous conditions, unless hospitalized or partially hospitalized for that condition while the plan is in effect.
Thus, if you or your traveling companion suffer a panic attack and must cancel or interrupt the trip, the policy will not cover it. However, a severe panic attack that resulted in hospitalization could be covered.
Trip Interruption Insurance Policy Conditions
In addition to exclusions, some conditions must meet the policy requirements for Travel Interruption coverage like:
- You and your traveling companion must be medically fit to travel on the date you purchase the Travel Insurance policy
- You or your traveling companion must have been approved for the time off on or before the effective date of the Travel Insurance policy (Cancel For Work Reasons)
- You must insure 100% of all prepaid, non-refundable trip costs for Time Sensitive benefits to apply
How Much Does Trip Interruption Insurance Cost?
All comprehensive travel insurance plans include Trip Interruption as part of the Trip Cost protection.
For example, suppose a couple is looking for a policy with $100,000 in Medical Insurance (we recommend at least $100,000 when traveling overseas). They are 63 and 65 years of age traveling for 14 days in Europe with a trip cost of $5,000 in total.
The travel insurance plan cost would be as low as $274 total for this couple. The policy covers Trip Cancellation for $5,000 and Trip Interruption for $7,500.
Our Policy Recommendations
We always recommend that you buy travel insurance early.
Buying early means allows you to take advantage of Time Sensitive benefits like the Pre-existing Medical Conditions Waiver or Cancel For Any Reason. The policy also protects your investment for the maximum amount of time.
Also, if you are traveling outside the US, we recommend at least $100,000 of Medical Insurance. Note that Medicare does not pay providers outside the US. It is a good idea to check your primary health insurance to be sure you cover any gaps while traveling.
In any event, it’s worth your time to compare benefits and costs before buying so you get the best policy to fit your needs.
AardvarkCompare makes it easy to compare dozens of top-rated travel plans from some of the largest US travel insurers.
Travel Insurance Comparison – Will I Pay More Buying From a Comparison Website?
Because the US has anti-discriminatory insurance pricing laws, AardvarkCompare guarantees that you will not find the same plan at a lower price. Even going directly to the insurance company will give you the same price.
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